This October marks thirty years since the Great Storm flattened hundreds of thousands of trees across National Trust woodland. The losses were severe but the storm became a chance to re-evaluate the way we work in the outdoors.
Ranger Ian Swinney and his young family cowered in the house as the storm raged at Bookham Commons, using candlelight as their only source of power. Ian looks back on the night which changed the landscape and wildlife there forever.
Toys Hill lost 98% of its trees on the plateau during the Storm. To this day, stark reminders of that night remain. Ranger Chris leads us along his favourite trail, pointing out storm scars along the way.
At Toys Hill, Kent, a small ‘exclusion zone’ was put in place and left to recover naturally following the Great Storm in October 1987. It continues to teach us important lessons about woodland management today.
From the radiant reds and breath-taking bronzes of Scotney Castle and Sissinghurst in Kent to the wilderness of the New Forest commons turning into fields of gold. So breathe in the crisp autumnal air, dust off the cobwebs and enjoy one of our downloadable walks.
In this National Trust book, Woods: A Celebration, Robert Penn explores the natural history of some of our most iconic British woods. Penn celebrates the trees that give them their characters and reflects on the plants and animals that inhabit them and their changing appearance through the seasons.